by Kathleen Doheny
Thursday, January 12, 2012
For several years, researchers have studied a possible link between substances called parabens — widely used as a germ-fighting preservative in cosmetics such as deodorant/antiperspirants — and breast cancer.
Investigators have learned that parabens, also found in some drugs and food products, can mimic weakly the action of the female hormone estrogen — an established risk factor for breast cancer. And the fact that a disproportionate number of breast tumors occur nearer the underarm also had scientists wondering.
But now, British researchers who examined breast tissue samples from 40 women who had mastectomies have found that traces of parabens are widespread in tissues, even in the seven women who said they’d never used underarm products.